2023 Stuffed Animal Sleepover: An Art-tastic Adventure!

August 24, 2023

This week was very special, because it was time for the Library’s annual stuffed animal sleepover! All summer the Library has been encouraging Brookline to “Find Your Voice” with programs, fun wheel spins, and lots of reading. The stuffed animals at home were getting jealous that we hadn’t been able to go on an adventure to find our voices yet. Luckily, the Library and the Brookline Arts Center put together a special sleepover and art camp just for us!  

After our children dropped us off at the Library, we had to wait until the building closed! The Library doesn’t close until 9 PM, so we got to stay up really late. As soon as the last person left, we got to explore the Children’s Room. Mella started climbing the castle right away. Noodles and Moosey Junior found a cool hexagonal chair that we took turns playing on. Gomachan was excited to meet Jake, the Library snake. Jake was such a good friend to all of us while we were at the Library. He assured us that the librarians would take really good care of us while we were away from our children and families. Groudon loved being in the Library bookshelves. The shelves were the perfect place for us all to snuggle and fall asleep. The librarians read Bedtime for Sweet Creatures by Nikki Grimes to help us fall asleep.

The Library was such a welcoming place that we all slept really well. We had to wake up early in the morning because we had to go to the Brookline Arts Center (BAC) for our special arts camp. We arrived at 86 Monmouth Street and were so excited to look around! The first thing we saw was a big statue and the front of the BAC building. Sealy and Baby Lion were so excited to be here for art camp! Then we noticed a really cool statue in front of the building. Coloem thought that they looked a lot like the statue, while Peppa was excited because the statue was named Pepper, which sounds really similar to Peppa! Some of us noticed the park and the really cool play structure and wanted to go play, but the librarians told us we would have to wait until lunchtime to go explore and play.

Our first class of the day was jewelry making. We learned first and foremost that when working with tools in the jewelry and metals classroom, we needed to wear safety glasses so that we can stay safe. Simba demonstrated to Peppa the proper glasses technique. Then we all donned our safety goggles. This was an issue for some of us who were a little smaller and couldn’t get the glasses to stay on our faces! The instructors said that since we were stuffies, it might be okay if the smaller stuffies didn’t wear glasses, but they reminded us to tell our humans how important it is to wear safety glasses when working with machinery. Pinky, Penguin, Monkey, and Chimpchimp used their climbing skills to take over the tool wall and distribute tools to everyone else so we could get started on our projects. Some of the tools we used included wire cutters, flat nosed pliers, needle nosed pliers, awls, punches, and hammers of all shapes and sizes. 


Then we got to work making jewelry! Bracelets were a really popular project and required a lot of teamwork. Baby Lion and Blackie got the needle nosed pliers ready while Rocky and Mario Mushroom planned their bracelet. Orange decided to help everybody and was on wire duty, measuring and cutting for everyone who needed wire. We used a lot of wire to make jewelry! Fuzzy was enamored by the beads because they matched their glittery ears! Baby Tiger modeled a few of the finished bangles! The trio of fire-type Pokemon; Groudon, Fuecoco, and Scorbunny, couldn’t use the torch themselves because they were too small to wear safety glasses, but they helped the instructor secure the ring they were working on so that the instructor could use the red torch to heat and shape the metal. 

While everyone was working on their jewelry, Store was busy making a turtle! Everyone was amazed that they had accomplished such a detailed project in such a short amount of time. To finish up our time in our first art class, we wanted to make something fun to take home and share with our humans, so we made friendship bracelets! Puppy was excited that there were so many great bead choices, so they had a hard time choosing which ones to use. They ultimately decided to use blue beads and wooden beads. While we were making our bracelets, we decided to take supplies to make bracelets home to our children! We’re excited to see the beautiful bracelets they create.

After we finished with our jewelry making class, we moved downstairs for our pottery class. There were only six pottery wheels in the ceramics studio, so we took turns learning wheel throwing. You can also make things with clay by hand building with the clay, but we only had time at our art camp to learn one type of pottery! Funny Waddles Rose, Sealy, Coloem, Story Friend, Cat, and Mella took the first turn at the wheels. Story Friend put on an apron, but everyone else was ready to get dirty and muddy if they needed to. Fortunately, the pottery teachers helped keep everyone clean! Luckily for our smaller friends, the BAC even had a tiny wheel just to help us make small stuffie-sized pots! Cuddles took the first turn making a pot. Our art camp had 53 stuffies, but there was still enough clay for everyone to make something.  Pottery is a lot of fun because you can get your hands dirty, but Berry and Kuromi made sure to wash up at the sink after making their pots. The water was so dirty after we washed all of our hands and tools!

After making our pots, they had to dry for a long time before they could be glazed and fired, which we didn’t have time to do at our art camp. Rainbow Snakey and Fluffy are color experts since they’re rainbow colored, so they helped the rest of us learn about the different glaze combinations. The glazes are what makes the pottery colorful after it’s fired in the kiln. Doggy, Rabbit, Elmo, Monkey, Pascal, Goat, Baby-Chan, and Nyacky went over and looked inside the kiln. The kiln gets really really hot which melts the glaze into a smooth finish and makes the pottery stronger so that people can use it. The kiln was very deep, so we were careful not to fall in!

After a couple of serious art classes, we were ready for a break! Luckily, it was time to go outside for lunchtime and playtime. We had a really delicious lunch. Dokin-chan, Store, Sally, Ruff-Ruff and Daddy Mouse were excited to see some of their favorite foods and drinks laid out on the picnic blanket for them to eat! They had to stop Rainbow Snakey from eating all of their yummy snacks!

Our break from camp was a great time to read some books about art! Ducky read Drawn Together by Minh Lê Rocky read I Cannot Draw a Horse by Charise Mericle Harper, and Mario Mushroom read The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. Blackie read over their shoulders and tried to read all three books at once. They weren’t sure that they caught every word of every book, so they’re glad they can check all those books out from the Library and read them again.

Then it was playtime! The group of dogs, helmed by Doggy, tackled the fire hydrant, while Panda and Baby Tiger took a spin on the wheel. The BAC’s building used to be a Chemical Firehouse, so the play structure is firefighter themed. Monkey, Chimpchimp, Monkey, and Scorbunny decided to have a climbing challenge. It looks like Monkey and Monkey tied when it came to figuring out who could climb higher. Octi, Giraffe, Kuromi, Berry and Moosey Junior convinced all of their penguin friends to play in the red sled with them. Dino Penny, Penguin, and Funny Waddles Rose were glad they joined in! The sled reminded them a lot of sliding on the ice on their bellies, something penguins love to do!

Pinky was glad to get a chance to do some coloring with sidewalk chalk. They enjoyed all of the morning activities, but chalk is one of their favorite art supplies to use. In the meantime, Blueberry led some of their bunny friends on an adventure into the bushes in search of some yummy bunny treats! The bunnies couldn’t find Fuzzy because Fuzzy had found their own fun place to play. The reptiles and dinosaurs decided it was time to lie in the sun. Since they’re cold- blooded animals, they needed to warm up a little bit. Orange was glad to have so many friends to spend time with outdoors.

Pikachu, Cat, and Moosey decided to sneak away from the rambunctious playing to get in some more reading. Pikachu read Woodpecker Girl by Chingyen Liu and I-Tsun Chiang, Cat read Tap! Tap! Tap! Dance! Dance! Dance! by Hervé Tullet and Moosey read How to Draw a Dragon by Douglas Florian.

Before we knew it, lunchtime and playtime were already over and it was time to go back inside for our afternoon classes. We were going to tackle photography, painting, drawing, and then visit the gallery! Before we started our afternoon activities, the art teachers took us to the BAC library. Since we were visiting from the public library, they knew we liked books and invited us to take a look at their books to get some inspiration for our afternoon projects! Blueberry and Nyacky were amazed by all the options. Simba found a great book about Impressionism, Dino Penny shared books about drawing animals with Chimpchimp, Fluffy read about abstract art, and Pascal found a book that wasn’t about art at all, and read about fairies instead. Elmo started to look for books, but got distracted by the games. Elmo’s favorite thing to check out at the Brookline Village Library is board games, so they were excited to see the BAC library had board games too! Pinky and Penguin didn’t look for inspiration in books, but found inspiration through zooarchaeology!

Thoroughly inspired by the art books, we jumped into photography, painting, and drawing. Noodles quickly established themself as an expert behind the lens as they took beautiful pictures on a DSLR camera. Baby-Chan tried a different type of camera, a digital camera, and asked Story Friend to pose with the collages on the wall for a photograph. Gomachan, Octi, Giraffe, and Monkey decided to make abstract paintings. The best part about abstract painting is that you can use lots of colors and it can look like whatever you want it to! What do you think their paintings look like?

Pikachu got a little crazy over in the drawing room since Ruff-Ruff and Dokin-chan kept handing them markers! Daddy Mouse and Ducky posed with the drawing that they made during our photography, drawing, and painting time.

A few friends decided to explore afterwards and see what they could find! Puppy, Goat, and Cuddles led a group in building with LEGO bricks, while Moosey decided to admire art projects made by the kids who were attending one of the BAC camps over the summer. Rabbit made a new friend, a stuffie dog who lives at the BAC! The dog told Rabbit that it was so much fun to have a bunch of other stuffies visiting for the day. Sally was excited to find so much yarn! Sally is a crochet dinosaur, which means they’re made out of yarn. While this yarn wasn’t a dinosaur yet, it could become one someday!

Even though we were done creating art for the day, we still had a few more things to do at art camp. We visited the Annex Gallery to view the art exhibit Threading Fruit Loops. The exhibit title made us all a little hungry because Fruit Loops are really yummy. After taking a little bit to just sit there and look at all the details of the exhibit, we started sharing our thoughts about the art with each other. Panda and Panda both really enjoyed the bright colors. Fuecoco thought it was really neat how they could see things they recognized, like a shovel that you might use to dig in the sand and make sand castles. 

We were tired and were ready to go back to the Library, take a nap, and wait for our children to come pick us up. To get us ready for the trip back, Miss Molly, one of the BAC art teachers, read us a story. She read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. It was a really funny story and a great way to end our busy day at art camp! Thanks so much to Miss Molly and everyone at the Brookline Arts Center for the incredible experience!